Updated: Mar 3
You know your age…the numbers you achieve on the day you blow a few candles on a cake every year. But have you heard of the metabolic age? What is your metabolic age? Let's talk about the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) to understand this better.
What is BMR?
If you decided to rest an entire day and do nothing that requires you to use energy, your body would still be burning a certain amount of calories. This is because it has functions it has to carry out such as breathing, blinking, heart muscle functions, blood circulation, brain activity, cell growth and many other involuntary functions. The amount of calories burnt or the energy used to carry out these basic body functions is what is known as the Basal Metabolic Rate.
The BMR differs from person to person depending on many factors such as weight, height, gender, etc. The larger the body mass, the more energy it requires to sustain body functions. When a person loses weight, this causes a decrease in the BMR as the body will need less energy for its functions.
What is the metabolic age?
The metabolic age is calculate using the BMR. In simpler health and fitness terms, the metabolic age is an indication of your overall fitness and health.
Your BMR is calculated in comparison to that of an ideally fit person of your age and height. This will give you an understanding of what your metabolic age is.
Chronological Age vs Metabolic Age
Your chronological age is the number of years you have been alive. Simply said, it's your age in calendar years.
Ideally, your metabolic age should be the same age as your chronological age, meaning your body is functioning just as it is supposed to.
If your metabolic age is below your chronological age, it indicates a good fitness level. However, if it's higher than your age, it’s a sign that you may need to work towards improving your health.
How can you improve your BMR?
The aim is to keep your metabolism up and your BMR low. Here are a few things you can do to achieve that:
Incorporate HIIT into your workout routine.
Try to get in more physical activity throughout the day besides your daily workouts.
Lifting weights will help increase muscle mass hence improving your BMR.
Clock in enough hours of sleep.
Make sure your calorie intake isn’t too low where your body goes into slow metabolism.
Have balanced meals with nutritious varieties.
Find means to keep your stress levels under control
How Reliable is the Metabolic Age Calculation?
Metabolic age is a powerful indicator to give you an understanding of where you stand in terms of your fitness, and health. However, depending solely on the metabolic age scale can be misleading in assessing the fitness of a person who is struggling with health problems. No single factor alone will help you understand your current state of health or fitness, and metabolic age is no exception. Thus, it is suggested to use it in a way that takes both the metabolic and chronological ages into consideration, enabling you to gauge your fitness level against your chronological age as well.
Regardless of whether you like it or not, the reality is that we are all aging and it is only natural that your metabolic age will lower as you age. However, there is much you can do to maintain your quality of life and improve health into old age. By managing weight, engaging in regular physical activity and eating a balanced diet, you can work to age gracefully. Now isn’t that something to look forward to?